Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 507742
Title Effects of water diversion and climate change on the Rur and Meuse in low-flow situations
Author(s) Pyka, Christiane; Jacobs, Cor; Breuer, Roman; Elbers, Jan; Nacken, Heribert; Sewilam, Hani; Timmerman, Jos
Source Environmental Earth Sciences 75 (2016). - ISSN 1866-6280
Department(s) Alterra - Climate change and adaptive land and water management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Climate change - Low-flow - Water quality - Water temperature

Water scarcity is one of the problems in water management that hinders European rivers in reaching a good ecological status as defined in the European Water Framework Directive. Water scarcity often coincides with high water temperature and low water quality. High water temperatures decrease the oxygen supply and often coincide with low flows that tend to increase the load of various compounds that affect the equilibrium in the ecosystem. The river Meuse regularly encounters situations of low water flow. In these situations, the river Rur, an important tributary of the river Meuse in Germany, contributes significantly to the Meuse discharge. Climate change can lead to more frequent periods of water scarcity. Moreover, plans exist to divert water from the Rur to former brown coal quarries in Germany. This exploratory study examines the relationships between discharge, water temperature and water quality under future climate change and water diversion scenarios in low-flow situations for the rivers Meuse and Rur. The results of the study confirm that rising air temperatures as a result of climate change will lead to higher water temperatures which will negatively impact the water quality of the Meuse in particular. Despite the fact that the contribution of the Rur has a positive impact on the water quality of the Meuse, the results suggest that effects of plans to divert water from the Rur may be small on average. However, the impact of the diversion may be stronger on individual hot summer days with low water levels when the Rur contributes significantly to the discharge of the Meuse.

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